As much as I've bemoaned The Secret and it's heretofore unbelievable existence, on Friday I asked, I believed, and let me tell you, did I ever receive!
In case you've never heard of it, I like to follow a little blog called Eater, and Eater likes to follow the ins and outs of the Manhattan dining experience. Every Friday, Eater runs a wonderful contest called the "Friday Resy Giveaway!!" which I love for both the excessive use of exclamation points and the word "giveaway." Through unknown methods (they probably just have the foresight to call a few months in advance), Eater manages to procure a desperately sought-after reservation at some Manhattan restaurant de jour, which they then give away to the most deserving reader. The reservation up for grabs last Friday was an 8:30, table for 2, at uber-foodspot Allen and Delancey.
Now, let me clarify a little something. I've never won a thing in my life, and that's probably because I've always been too lazy to even try to win anything. Until now.
I took a few moments, shot off a three line email and I waited.
And that's when it happened. As soon as I'd hit send, I knew, I just knew that I was going to win the resy. Now maybe this happens to people who try to win things all the time. Maybe that's the natural reaction -- the excitement about the possibility of winning somehow transforms into an un-doubtable certainty. I don't know what it was, but I'm going to go ahead and chalk this up to the "believe" part of The Secret.
Now, you know the rest of the story. I asked, I believed, and therefore, apparently, I received. At 5:05pm, I received an email alerting me that the resy was all mine and giving me all the necessary information (pseudonym, fake cellphone number, etc).
And here's where we get to the good part. As my winning e-mail will attest, I love food more than life itself. I really do. And if, according to Roget's Thesaurus, food is "that which sustains the mind or spirit," let me tell you, was I ever spirituality sustained on Friday night.
If I may, I'm going to spend a few lines worshiping at the altar of Neil Ferguson, because the food was spectacular. I would go back to Allen & Delancey for the bread alone. Two rolls are dutifully dolled out with each meal (although I think we jumped the gun by spying them on a neighboring plate and immediately accosting the busboy for some -- a faux pas, perhaps?) One, a crunchy, buttery, almond-shaped French roll; the other, a perfectly spherical, bacon-greased, sage bun that literally melted in my mouth. We asked for seconds. (Another faux pas? I'm OK with it.)
The service was the most comfortable, friendly service I've had in a while, and it beat out Market Table for my number one "fancy-food (read: muy expensive-o) place where the service makes you feel like you pop in everyday for a casual bite to eat." Everyone seemed to be taking the whole "do unto others" adage entirely to heart, and I've haven't felt that cozy trying to decide between $22 appetizers in a while.
As usual, my boyfriend and I switched gender roles for dinner. I ordered the duck foie gras terrine (served with something akin to a rhubarb puree, and a perfectly placed, itty-bitty honeycomb nestled on top) and the veal saltimbocca. He ordered the crab ravioli and the Tasmanian sea trout (which I spent the rest of the weekend calling South African sea trout, for no apparent reason). And while I want to go into every indulgent detail of our three-course meal (which included a wonderfully playful dessert of "Sweet Cream French Toast" and some delicious home-made caramels served with the bill, of which I just remembered I saved one...), I won't, because this post is supposed to be about spirituality and not food, and I'm far too lazy to take the literary-out and describe everything in spiritual metaphor. In any case, that's already been done. This morning. Also: food writing is hard and I'm running out of over-used adjectives.
What I do want to say is that even if Roget's food definition is bogus, I would argue from here to kingdom-come that food and eating is by definition spiritual. Like sex, it's the most basic of human needs. It's carnal, it's visceral, it employs and explodes all your senses, and if anything, it showcases impeccably the nuances of the human body and soul (or tastebuds, depending on how you look at it.) Pleasure itself is an entirely underrated spiritual act -- so why not pleasure derived from food? (Food beats out drugs any day of the week.)
In the spirit of Church (and in the spirit of things being far too long), it seems appropriate (and about time!) I give thanks. So: Thank you gods, God, the universe, Eater, The Secret, and Allen & Delancey for my Friday evening gastronomical spiritual awakening. But really, thank you Nick for paying for it, and ultimately thank you Shin Ramyun Noodles for being so deliciously terrible for me that the good samaritan Eater blog editors had no choice but to stage a food intervention. I needed it.
I will forever sing all of your praises. That is, until I manage to ask, believe, receive my way into reservations and a paid-for dinner at Le Bernardin.
Just thought I'd throw that out there.